At this year’s Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America) meeting, the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), in partnership with 11 organizations, announced its new CGI commitment to developing “ASID Protocols for Health and Wellness in Design” that could improve the well-being of 1 million people through better building design and construction.
ASID will train 40,000 interior designers and architects across the country to use these protocols to create spaces that promote occupants’ health and to specify healthier products and materials. The protocols will encompass design, products, and healthcare. Planned to be concise and accessible, the protocols will incorporate Healthy Product Declarations and Cradle to Cradle certified products, as well as evidenced-based, LEED v4, biophilic, and active design principles, among others. ASID expects to beta test the protocols across multiple sectors as early as this time next year.
“ASID has a history of convening multiple stakeholders on Healthy Product Declarations, LEED CI creation, evidence-based design, and biophilia research,” said ASID CEO Randy Fiser. “Our CGI commitment aligns with the Society’s core business and strategic goals. It also expands our opportunities for partnership, learning and raising awareness about the value to society of building for health and well-being.”
Currently a number of factors—including the amount, complexity, and multiple sources of information on creating healthy spaces—prevent interior designers, architects, and the larger design community from achieving the necessary understanding to benefit fully from healthy design principles or to persuade their clients to implement them. (Recent research conducted by McGraw Hill Construction and supported by ASID affirms this conclusion.) Resulting space and building design, therefore, does not offer the greatest opportunity to positively affect occupants’ health and wellness.
ASID will convene a cross-sector, multidisciplinary group of leading doctors, nurses, healthcare administrators, interior designers, architects, engineers, product developers, and suppliers to compose a single resource manual for professionals concerned about the built environment’s effect on people. The Society will provide financial and in-kind support of the CGI commitment by convening and facilitating meetings, producing education, and communications tools, tapping members’ expertise in elements of healthy buildings, distributing the design protocols, and more.
The following 11 organizations are joining ASID in its commitment with CGI to develop the “ASID Protocols for Health and Wellness in Design”:
- AkzoNobel will contribute materials and specialty chemicals expertise.
- CertainTeed, the North American Construction Product division of Saint-Gobain, will contribute expertise in building science, indoor environmental quality, product design, manufacturing, delivery and life-cycle issues.
- Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute will provide the material health assessment methodology from its Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Program as a framework for manufacturing safe, healthy, and regenerative products. The Institute also will offer its certified materials database to assist in identifying preferred materials for building healthy spaces.
- Gensler will contribute design practitioner expertise in health, wellness, and generative space, as well as protocol testing for projects and language framework with client and peer reviews.
- Health in Buildings Roundtable, a subgroup of the National Institutes of Health’s Division of Environmental Protection, will contribute established and emerging peer-reviewed scientific research, while also anticipating a dissemination/distribution program about the commitment outcomes via its annual Health in Buildings Roundtable Conference.
- Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) will contribute its global, cause-based approach for better health with information technology to improve the safety, quality, cost-effectiveness, and accessibility of patient care.
- International WELL Building Institute will contribute research on building interiors and provide additional research and knowledge relating to the WELL Building Standard.
- MSR Design will contribute design practitioner expertise in health, wellness, and generative space, as well as protocol testing for projects and language framework with client and peer reviews.
- Steelcase will contribute product design, manufacturing, delivery, and life-cycle expertise.
- The Vitality Institute will contribute research from its collaborations and expertise from its base of health and disease management professionals.
- Wolf-Gordon will contribute product design, manufacturing, delivery, and life-cycle expertise, as well as assist in a comprehensive protocols dissemination campaign.
The group seeks funding, technology for monitoring protocol processes, and public relations support in media and consumer outreach. The initial draft of the health and wellness protocols will be ready in the first quarter of next year, with training on the final protocols scheduled to begin at the end of 2015.